Molly Ringle Shares Her Writing Guilty Pleasures

Meet Molly Ringle.


Molly Ringle was one of the quiet, weird kids in school, and is now one of the quiet, weird writers of the world. She likes thinking up innovative romantic obstacles and mixing them with topics like Greek mythology, ghost stories, fairy tales, or regular-world scandalous gossip. With her intense devotion to humor, she was proud to win the grand prize in the 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest with one (intentionally) terrible sentence. She’s into mild rainy climates, gardens, ’80s new wave music, chocolate, tea, and perfume (or really anything that smells good). She has lived in the Pacific Northwest most of her life, aside from grad school in California and one work-abroad season in Edinburgh in the 1990s. (She’s also really into the U.K., though has a love/stress relationship with travel.) She currently lives in Seattle with her husband, kids, guinea pigs, and a lot of moss.

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What are Molly Ringle’s writing guilty pleasures?

What distinguishes a regular pleasure from a guilty pleasure? I suppose a guilty pleasure is usually something we feel we “shouldn’t” be enjoying, perhaps shouldn’t be doing at all—because it’s bad for us, it’s tacky, it’s frivolous; any number of reasons. As such, guilty pleasures are more fun to talk about than ordinary ones.

When asked what my guilty pleasures when writing or editing are, I can think of many, all of them serving as a form of procrastination, even if I could give the excuse that they have SOMETHING to do with writing.

There’s looking up images, for example. If I want to describe a character’s outfit or house or facial features, my imagination only takes me so far. I start feeling the need to get on Google or Pinterest and examine lots of photos and artwork—and sometimes save them to my own Pinterest boards—so I can study the details and think up similar ones for my story. Though, let’s be honest, I spend far more time on that “research” than the details really call for, because those pretty pictures sure are distracting. (If you’re curious, I have a Pinterest board for The Goblins of Bellwater, several boards for the Persephone series, and one for What Scotland Taught Me.)

There’s music, too: I rarely write a novel without having a soundtrack of sorts for it, composed of music that gets me thinking about the story or the characters. I love to stick my earbuds in, start up that playlist, and daydream. However, I seem unable to daydream and WRITE at the same time, so this pleasure works better when I’m doing housework or taking a walk, and merely thinking about the story. But hey, thinking about the story counts as working on it, kind of, right? (If you want to have a listen, I even made a Spotify playlist for the songs that inspired my Persephone trilogy, Persephone’s Orchard and its sequels.)

I also can spend a lot of contented time sorting through other people’s books. I get a mood boost from browsing books, even just virtually via their online descriptions. It’s work-related, sure, as writers have to be readers too, and while I’m browsing I also take the time to notice what I like and don’t like about titles, cover art, and back-cover blurbs. But truly, at such times I’m mostly just being a happy bookworm, rolling around in stories like a dog in a pile of wet leaves.

And of course there’s snacking, but I doubt there’s anything unusual about a novelist consuming handfuls of chocolate chips and multiple mugs of tea every day. From what I hear, that’s standard.

What are your guilty pleasures on or off the job? Maybe you’ll give me new temptation ideas!


What are your writing guilty pleasures?

Leave a comment below!


Thank you Molly Ringle for stopping by A New Look On Books!

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